Since its inception in 2009, the TAILS initiative has seen more than a dozen
graduating classes and many more success stories. Canine graduates include Milo, a young Chihuahua-Dachshund mix who had no previous experience with a leash and collar, and Canelo, who learned to overcome his potty training and aggression issues through food direction. Among the graduates of December 2012, were a smart pit bull and Labrador mix and an affectionate and intelligent border collie mix.

The inmates also have an accomplishment to be proud of. They
have not only successfully rehabilitated dogs with problems, but also acquired
invaluable skill sets to aid them in a future career path. Moreover, by being
completely entrusted to care for and train an animal, they have gained a sense
of responsibility and empathy, qualities Sheriff Gregory Munks and the San Mateo County Sheriff's Office believe will reduce instances of recidivism.

About the Author:

Sheriff Greg Munks assumed control of the San Mateo County Sheriff's Office in 2007. Prior to that, he spent 14 years as Undersheriff of the Office and served in the Palo Alto Police Department for nine years. He holds degrees from Golden Gate University and the Menlo School of Business Administration.                             
Sheriff Greg Munks, who oversees law enforcement operations in San Mateo County, California, has instituted a number of innovative initiatives over the course of his career, including a scholarship program for underprivileged women and a push to address overcrowding in correctional facilities. In addition, Sheriff Gregory Munks launched TAILS (Transitioning Animals Into Loving Homes), which teaches inmates the principles of responsible dog ownership and rehabilitation. 

Through TAILS, the men staying at a minimum security facility in Redwood City spend eight weeks caring for dogs deemed unadoptable by Peninsula Humane Society. With the help and supervision of certified trainers, these inmates provide obedience instruction, much-needed socialization, exercise, and companionship; the prisoners also groom the canines in their charge and make sure they complete all their assigned "homework." The dogs spend every hour of the day with their handlers, sleeping in their cells at night and working on commands with them during the day. As a result of both parties' hard work over the course of two months, canines are ready for adoption by a caring family.